Mexico City, Feb 5 (EFE).- Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Monday presented his latest package of constitutional reforms, composed of 20 initiatives, with controversial changes to the pension system, an increase in minimum wages, the election by popular vote of the judges of the Supreme Court and the elimination of autonomous regulators.
In his presentation from the National Palace, the president defended that his latest proposals for legal changes, which must be approved by Congress, are based on counteracting “anti-popular” articles that were introduced to the Constitution during the country’s “neoliberal period.”
“All those reforms of the neoliberal period contrary to the public interest are adulterations that deny the general meaning of our Magna Carta, which was the fruit of a revolutionary popular movement and therefore conceived from the beginning with a national, social, public spirit,” said López Obrador, who will step down on Oct. 1 at the end of his six-year term.
He maintained that the reforms seek to establish rights and strengthen ideals and principles related to humanism, justice, honesty, austerity and democracy.
Specifically, López Obrador mentioned that one will focus on revaluing the original communities in the country and providing them with legal certainty to be beneficiaries of social programs.
In addition, he will highlight the right of seniors from the age of 65 to receive a government pension and that all students at all educational levels can receive a scholarship.
López Obrador said his proposals seek to guarantee comprehensive and free medical care to all Mexicans, that the minimum wage never drops below annual inflation and the prohibition of the trade in vaping devices and chemical drugs such as fentanyl.
He promised to reverse the pension reforms of 1997 and 2007, as he said they unfairly affect workers and prevent them from retiring with 100 percent of their salary, while announcing the creation of a seed fund that will start with 64 billion pesos (about $3.7 billion) and that will continue to increase over time to achieve this goal.
He also proposed that students who do not find opportunities with the minimum wage be guaranteed jobs for up to one year by the State.
On the other hand, López Obrador announced that he will seek to ensure that the 18,000 kilometers of railway tracks concessioned to private companies are recovered and used for passengers, as well as providing internet to the general population.
He outlined that electoral councilors and magistrates will be elected by popular vote, as will judges, magistrates and ministers of the Judiciary; and proposed eliminating multi-member positions in Congress and reducing deputies to 300 (from the current 500) and 64 senators (from the current 128).
At the same time, he promoted the elimination of autonomous organizations and the return of the National Guard to military command under the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena); as well as insisting on so-called republican austerity so that officials cannot earn more than the president and “privileges and extravagances” are eliminated.
Among other changes, he also intends to reduce the consensus necessary to approve popular consultations and the revocation of mandate in the middle of each government period from 40 percent to 30 percent.
The changes will be delivered in an official protocol to the Chamber of Deputies, which will be the first instance of the Mexican Congress to review, discuss and, where appropriate, approve López Obrador’s latest package of constitutional reforms. EFE